ORMOC CITY – Leyte 4th District Representative Richard I. Gomez was said to be pleased that the House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms approved the proposal to postpone the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections (BSKE) in order to focus on more pressing issues that require funding, such as, he said, the nation’s food security program in light of the impending food crisis.

“I am pleased with the outcome. The budget for SK and Barangay elections can be used to address more pressing issues like food security,” said Congressman Gomez.

Accordingly, the said committee approved on Tuesday, August 16, 2022, a proposal to postpone the BSKE, which was initially scheduled for December 5, 2022, to the first Monday of December 2023.

A total of 12 members of the House panel voted in favor of the measure to postpone this year’s electoral exercise, as it would help the government save a lot of money that could be diverted to financial aid for the poor and other more urgent government programs. Only two lawmakers voted against the proposal.

According to Cong. Gomez, a total of 81 house bills were passed as the 19th Congress started for the postponement of BSKE.

The committee also approved the motion to set the tenure of those elected for the December 2023 polls and other elections thereafter for three years.

However, the approval of postponement is still on its first level and final approval will still be in accordance with the order of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. To recall, as part of the opening salvo of bill filings in the 19th Congress, Gomez filed House Bill (HB) 937, or “An Act Postponing the December 2022 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE), Amending for the Purpose Republic Act (RA) No. 9164, as Amended by RA 9340, RA 10632, RA 10656, RA 10923, RA 10952, RA 11642, and for Other Purposes.” By Gwen Maurillo (EV Mail August 15-21, 2022 issue)